Advertisement

What are the training requirements for acupuncturists?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The ancient Asian therapy of placing tiny needles into specific areas of the body for countless purposes—from stemming chronic pain to smoking—is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) in the United States. And it's also one of the most regulated.

Thousands of physicians practice acupuncture, and they need no additional licensing in any state. Acupuncturists without a medical degree require licensing in all but eight states, which entails training and passing an exam. Some states also require a hands-on exam. About 16 states require a degree from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and the other 26 states require three years or 1,800 hours of training.

In about 12 states, your doctor must refer you to the services of an acupuncturist before insurance will consider paying for it. To find out what your state requires, check the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Web site at http://www.nccaom.org.
YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

More About this Book

YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment

Everyone needs to become a smart patient. In fact, in the worst cases, your life may even depend on it. Number one bestselling authors and doctors Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz have written this...

Continue Learning about Acupuncture

The Power of Acupuncture
The Power of Acupuncture
You may not like the idea of being needled, but acupuncture has been a go-to therapy for over 5,000 years. And this Chinese healing art...
Read More
Can I expect my acupuncturist to fill out my insurance forms?
Dede BonnerDede Bonner
Ninety-five percent of professional acupuncturists are self employed. Therefore, your acupuncturist ...
More Answers
Is acupuncture considered "real" medicine?
Dr. Robin Miller, MDDr. Robin Miller, MD
Acupuncture is considered real medicine and has been used for thousands of years. In the US it is co...
More Answers
How Does Acupuncture Treat Pain?
How Does Acupuncture Treat Pain?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.